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Yngwie Malmsteen

Date: 10/24/08
Venue: Starland Ballroom
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Death Dealer
Never Die
Damnation Game
Crown of Thorns
Far Beyond the Sun (instrumental)
Live To Fight
Caprici Di Diablo (instrumental)
I Am A Viking
Red Devil
Trilogy Suite (w/ guitar solo)
Magic City
The Fugue
You Don’t Remember
Black Star (instrumental)
I’ll See the Light Tonight

Sweden’s Yngwie Malmsteen brought his neoclassical six string shredding to the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey Thursday, October 24th, in support of his latest release “Perpetual Flame” which features Tim Owens (former singer for Judas Priest and Iced Earth) on vocals. Tim’s voice works well for Yngwie’s songs, some better than others as melodies for “You Don’t Remember” and “Dreaming” originally sung by more melodic voices (Mark Boals and Joe Lynn Turner) sound a bit off with his rougher tone and delivery. Yet, something like the heavier “Never Die”, “I’ll See the Light” or the classic “I Am A Viking” really come to life. So it’s a double edged sword with Tim at the mic, I think.

Yngwie himself played great. He was really on point with a clean clear delivery and one could hear just about all the notes (unless some just may fly by ya). He is also a consummate showman (as you can see from my pictures). He will do everything possible to entertain like playing behind his neck, with his teeth, holding the guitar above his head in front of a wall of Marshall amps, to even ripping off a couple of Richie Blackmore’s poses. My one issue is with the amount of self indulgent soloing. There were, if I’m counting right, four or five instrumentals (with some bass, keyboard and drums) of just Yngwie playing a million notes. Just ridiculous. Why so many?? Is it really called for when you already play a guitar solo in each song to begin with? I think not.

The setlist included five brand new aggressive songs; “Death Dealer”, “Damnation Game”, “Live to Fight”, “Red Devil” (which reminded me a bit of the commercial “Teaser” from the album “Fire and Ice”), and “Magic City” along with yet another, ugghh, instrumental “Caprici Di Diablo”.

Overall, I love Yngwie and have since buying the album “Marching Out” on vinyl in the mid 80’s but man is Malmsteen full of himself with all the instrumentals. Dude, we know you can play. Let the “songs” do the talking, not the instrumentals. Save it for another night of “Concerto Suite: Live From Japan”. Next time around I wanna hear “Fire” from “Trilogy”, “Don’t Let it End” off “Marching Out”, the hit “Heaven Tonight” where was that?, “Judas” from “Eclipse”, and the title track to “Facing the Animal”. How about it?





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